LAWRENCEVILLE – Top-ranked William Carey University (Miss.) took its frustration out on Georgia Gwinnett College women’s soccer team in a 4-1 victory Saturday evening in the Grizzly Classic at the Grizzly Soccer Complex.
The victory came two nights after the defending NAIA national champions had suffered their first loss of the 2019 season, 3-0 to Westmont College (Calif.), and avenged a 3-2 overtime setback to the Grizzlies last fall.
William Carey (8-1) scored twice on corner kicks in the opening 10 minutes to take control of the match. Itzayanna Gracia bent her corner kick into the goal for the first tally in the sixth minute. Later, Veronica Herrera deflected a kick from Gracia in the 10th minute to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
Then, in the 22nd minute, Ana Paula Santos scored the first of her two goals to build a 3-0 halftime edge.
The lead grew to 4-0 in the 59th minute when a shot from Santos sailed just inside the right edge of the GGC goal.
However, the Grizzlies (6-3-1) battled the rest of the match and finally found the back of the net in the 79th minute. Sophomore Joy Mertzig was on the receiving end of a free kick from just inside midfield by freshman Hilda Nygren, and scored within six yards of William Carey’s goal. The tally was Mertzig’s team-leading eighth of the season.
GGC outshot the Crusaders by a 6-5 margin in the second half. But William Carey held a 16-7 edge and recorded five corner kicks for the match.
The Grizzlies split their two matches against top-15 ranked teams during the Grizzly Classic, defeating University of Mobile (Ala.) 3-1 on Thursday. William Carey also went 1-1 in the tournament, while Westmont had a 1-0-1 mark for the tournament. Westmont and Mobile had a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s other Classic match.